#ReadAntiguaBarbuda 2021

F. A. K. E. author Vivian Luke won the 2017 – 2018 Readers Choice Book of the Year prize but these students from Foundation Mixed took home the prize – the school was the author’s pick for a book contribution in her name, made possible by three anonymous patrons.

The #ReadAntiguaBarbuda Readers’ Choice Book of the Year initiative is back. To participate, VOTE by naming your choice and why you chose it in the comments below this post. Voting will remain open for the duration of the Wadadli Pen 2021 Challenge.

This initiative proved to be a very satisfying operation in 2019 . It covered books released in 2017 and 2018. A couple of books released during that period slipped through the cracks, e.g. Ashley Bryan’s I am Loved, Farida Isaac-Carr’s Calypso Princess: The Grand Celebration, Rowan Ricardo Philips’ The Circuit: A Tennis Odyssey, Chavel Thomas’ Art Exposed, and Anthea S. Thomas’ Antigua Primary School Social Studies Workbooks 3, 4, 5, and 6. I’ve taken longer and been extra meticulous, and I think I captured every eligible book (i.e. books released 2019 to present) this time around. If I missed anything, it’s not intentional; just let me know. And, of course, remember to VOTE.

This initiative enables us to fulfill the showcase part of our mandate which, since 2004 has been nurturing and showcasing literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda. In the past, we did it in a gap year of our other major project, the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize Challenge. Twenty 21 is not a gap year (our late very late start to the contrary) but we like the idea of boosting books published by Antiguans and Barbudans, and inviting you to vote for your favourites is a way of inviting you to help us do so. So, share the love. Pass the post on and take the time to VOTE.

Whether we’ll be able to gift a local school with books in the winning authors’ name as we did last time (per this post’s opening image) is to be determined but in this space here we can celebrate them (prize or no prize). So let’s start there and see what happens. Here are the books (listed alphabetically) in the running – as before, VOTE in the comments and don’t forget to give a reason to encourage other readers to check out your pick.

Only one VOTE per person.

Book: A is for Arawak
Genre: Children’s Literature
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2021
Author: Margaret Irish
Wadadli Pen Note: Margaret is a two-time Wadadli Pen winner, who subsequently became a volunteer with the programme and a core team member.


Book: Antigua and Barbuda Dictionary
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2019
Author: Jerene Joseph
Wadadli Pen Note: “ah deh ee deh”.


Book: ATE! An Erotic Novelette
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2020
Author: Rilzy Adams
Wadadli Pen Note: Adams is a past Wadadli Pen finalist.


Book: The Bacchanal Sweet: African American Erotic Short Stories (Eros Book 1)
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2020
Author: Kimolisa Mings
Wadadli Pen Note: There are various mentions of Mings on the blog, and this guest blog on epublishing.


Book: Be Still and Know: A 40-day Journey to a Calmer Soul and a Deeper Relationship with God
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2020
Author: T. Lerisa Simon
Wadadli Pen Note: Book is described as a useful practical tool for anyone who needs a deeper relationship with God.


Book: Birthday Shot
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2020
Author: Rilzy Adams
Wadadli Pen Note: This book was also shortlisted for the best novel prize in Rebel Women Lit book club’s first Caribbean Readers Choice awards and was a semi-finalist for a Romance book industry’s Swoonies for Best Romance Novella for in 2020.


Book: Blessed with Beauty for Ashes: the Power of Godly Perseverance
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2019
Author: Sandra E. E. Williams
Wadadli Pen note: The book is reportedly about personal trials and tribulations and overcoming.


Book: Blow the Lid Off: Reclaim Your Stolen Creativity, Increase Your Income, and Let Your Light Shine!
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Simply You Publishing
Year of Publication: 2020
Author: Robert A. Belle
Wadadli Pen note: Belle is a transformational speaker, mentor, and ACCA qualified accountant who lives in Kenya.


Book: Boonoonoonous Hair (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s Literature
Publisher: Tradewind Books
Year of Publication: 2019
Author: Olive Senior (Jamaican writer) with Laura James (illustrator)
Wadadli Pen Note: James is the illustrator. She is American of Antiguan descent.


Book: Brand New: A Love on the Rock Novelette
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2019
Author: Rilzy Adams
Wadadli Pen Note: Resident Antiguan and Barbudan lawyer and former Wadadli Pen finalist.


Book: Broken to be Blessed: My Life Story
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2020
Author: Jo-Ann Merlene Carr
Wadadli Pen note: Described as a personal story of struggle and triumph.


Book: Calypso Princess: Coloring and Activity Book
Genre: Children’s Literature
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2019
Author: Farida Isaac-Carr
Wadadli Pen Note: This is a companion book to a children’s fiction released in 2018.


Book: The Comeback Kid: An Autobiography of Sir Lester Bryant Bird K.N.H.
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Eaglelitho.com
Year of Publication: 2019
Author: Lester Bird in conversation with Lionel Max Hurst
Wadadli Pen Note: Lester Bird is a former PM of Antigua and Barbuda and, in his youth, also medaled as a long jumper at the Pan Am Games. Lionel Max Hurst is a former diplomat and current chief of staff.


Book: The Cornish in the Caribbean: From the 17th to the 19th Centuries
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Troubadour
Year of Publication: 2019
Author: Sue Appleby
Wadadli Pen Note: From the book’s acknowledgments – “At home in Antigua, Michelle Henry, Chris Waters, and the library staff at the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda provided useful references; author Joanne Hillhouse helped me to tighten up my story, while Susan Lowes, professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, and a researcher into the history of the Eastern Caribbean, gave me guidance.”


Book: Dawn Disturbed: Bloody Benna
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2019
Author: Timothy Payne
Wadadli Pen Note: Payne was a journalist and photographer who died suddenly in 2020.


Book: Dead Beat
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2019
Author: Timothy Payne
Wadadli Pen Note: RIP to Payne who died suddenly in 2020.


Book: Epiphaneia
Genre: Poetry
Publisher: Outspoken Press
Year of Publication: 2020
Author: Richard Georges
Wadadli Pen Note: Georges was born in Trinidad; grew up and still lives in the BVI. His grandmother was Antiguan and his grandfather met her while attending secondary school here. He still has family in Antigua. This is the 2020 Bocas Prize winning book.


Book: Girl Give Yourself a Break: a 52-week Guided Self-Care Journal for the Boss Woman, Busy Mom and Caregiver
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2020
Author: Annisha Gabriel
Wadadli Pen Note: self-care tips


Book: Go Deep
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2020
Author: Rilzy Adams
Wadadli Pen Note: Resident Antiguan and Barbudan lawyer and former Wadadli Pen finalist. Go Deep was a semi-finalist for a Romance book industry Swoonie for Best Erotic Romance and a nominee for a Black Women Who Write award nominee for Best Black Erotica.


Book: Healing T’s Go Vegan Guide: How to Transition to Plant-based Vegan Nutrition: Recipes for Nurturing the Soul
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2019
Author: Tekhiyah
Wadadli Pen Note: Based on her bio, veganism isn’t just a story she tells but the way she lives and coaches others to live.


Book: His Strength in My Weakness: A Journey of Brokenness, Breakthrough, and Transformation
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Xulon
Year of Publication: 2019
Author: Eurita Taylor
Wadadli Pen Note: A quick scan suggests that this book tackles the challenges of forgiveness and mental health.


Book: Ho! Ho! Ho!: A Christmas Short
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2020
Author: Rilzy Adams
Wadadli Pen Note: This book was also shortlisted for the best novel prize in Rebel Women Lit book club’s first Caribbean Readers Choice awards in 2020.


Book: An Island Girl’s Inspiration from Above
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2020
Author: Stansel C. Roberts
Wadadli Pen Note: “This book visits the different seasons in life that any individual encounters while trying to maneouver life, love, self-care and God…a refresher for the Christian who wishes to renew their discipleship.” (book jacket)


Book: Journey to Discovery: Carl’s Summer Adventure
Genre: Children’s Literature
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2019
Author: Samantha Dian Samuel
Wadadli Pen note: Samuel is a born and raised Antiguan. She got in to writing in her 20s. This is her first book.


Book: The Jungle Outside
Genre: Children’s Literature
Publisher: Harper Collins
Year of Publication: 2021
Author: Joanne C. Hillhouse (w/illustrator Danielle Boodoo-Fortune)
Wadadli Pen Note: This book is part of the Collins Big Cat series of children’s books.


Book: The Lemon Tree: Surviving Miscarriage (And Other Things We Don’t Discuss)
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2020
Author: T. Lerisa Simon
Wadadli Pen Note: A memoir.


Book: Life is
Genre: Poetry
Publisher: unknown
Year of Publication: 2019
Author: Sarah P. King
Wadadli Pen Note: King is from Antigua and Barbuda.


Book: Light of Inspiration For Children
Genre: Children’s Literature
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2019
Author: Edison Liburd
Wadadli Pen Note: This talented artist is also a past Wadadli Pen patron who has gifted prints and spots in his Edison Arts camp. Light of Inspiration for Children is volume 2 of his Light of Inspiration series.


Book: Live Out Loud: A 90 Day Guided Journal for Women Ready to Live Their Best Lives
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2020
Author: Farida Isaac
Wadadli Pen Note: Also see her picture book.


Book: Living Weapon
Genre: Poetry
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Year of Publication: 2020
Author: Rowan Ricardo Phillips
Wadadli Pen Note: Rowan is American of Antiguan descent.


Book: Love in the Time of Corona
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2020
Author: Rilzy Adams
Wadadli Pen Note: Resident Antiguan and Barbudan lawyer and former Wadadli Pen finalist.


Book: Love is Forever…
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: LitFire Publishing
Year of publication: 2019
Author: N. Erna Mae Francis Cotton
Wadadli Pen Note: Francis was born in Swetes, Antigua, and migrated to St. Maarten at age 8.


Book: Managers’ First Aid Kit: A Practical Guide to Remedy the Three Most Common Managerial Challenges
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: UTDS Publishing
Year of Publication: 2020
Author: Joan H. Underwood
Wadadli Pen Note: Joan said in an interview that this was a pandemic project – something she’d been meaning to do but never had the time until the world stopped as it did in 2020


Book: My Million Dollar Ideas: A Journal for Visionaries, Side Hustlers, and Entrepreneurs
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2020
Author: Annisha Gabriel
Wadadli Pen Note: A local entrepreneur helping other entrepreneurs to organize their ideas.


Book: Now Do It! A 52-Week Guided Journal for Achieving Personal Success: A Companion Journal to You can do It – Your Personal Guide to Successful Living
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2020
Author: Koren A. Norton
Wadadli Pen Note: Koren is a past Wadadli Pen patron.


Book: Party
Genre: Children’s Literature
Publisher: Black Sheep
Year of Publication: 2019
Author: Jamaica Kincaid
Wadadli Pen Note: Jamaica is easily Antigua and Barbuda’s most renowned writer and was credibly rumored to be a strong contender for the 2020 Nobel Prize for literature.


Book: Pioneers of the Caribbean: A Memoir of Two Mothers’ Journey to immigrate their Families to Canada for Better Opportunities as seen through the Eyes of their Daughters Ingrid and Patricia
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: FriesenPress
Year of Publication: 2020
Author: Ingrid V. Lambie & Patricia L Tully
Wadadli Pen Note: About the immigrant experience. Uche Uwadinachi is credited as the illustrator.


Book: The Plantations of Antigua: The Sweet Success of Sugar: A Biography of the Historic Plantations Which Made Antigua A Major Source of the World’s Early Sugar Supply: Volume III: St. Philip’s, St. Paul’s, and St. Mary’s Parish.
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Authorhouse.com
Year of Publication: 2020
Author: Agnes Meeker with Donald A. Dery
Wadadli Pen Note: The sugar industry has been a favourite subject of Agnes Meeker for some time; just check out this article at Antigua Stories.


Book: The Plantations of Antigua: The Sweet Success of Sugar: A Biography of the Historic Plantations Which Made Antigua A Major Source of the World’s Early Sugar Supply: Volume II: St. George’s Parish and St. Peter’s Parish.
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Authorhouse.com
Year of Publication: 2019
Author: Agnes Meeker with Donald A. Dery
Wadadli Pen Note: The sugar industry has been a favourite subject of Agnes Meeker for some time; just check out this article at Antigua Stories.


Book: The Pleasure is Mine: A Caribbean BWWM Romance (A Sapodilla Resort & Spa Novel)
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2020
Author: Kimolisa Mings
Wadadli Pen Note: Various mentions on the blog, and this guest blog on epublishing.


Book: Primary Social Studies for Antigua and Barbuda: Grade 3 (Student’s Book and Workbook)
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Harper Collins Publisher’s Limited
Year of Publication: 2019
Author: Anthea S. Thomas
Wadadli Pen Note: She is one of the very few Antiguans and Barbudans to publish a text book and it began through her own initiative with her writing and self-publishing these texts in response to her classroom needs before attracting interest from the UK publisher.


Book: Primary Social Studies for Antigua and Barbuda: Grade 4 (Student’s Book and Workbook)
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Harper Collins Publisher’s Limited
Year of Publication: 2019
Author: Anthea S. Thomas
Wadadli Pen Note: She is one of the very few Antiguans and Barbudans to publish a text book and it began through her own initiative with her writing and self-publishing these texts in response to her classroom needs before attracting interest from the UK publisher.


Book: Primary School Studies for Antigua and Barbuda: Grade 5 (Student’s Book and Workbook)
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Harper Collins’ Publishers Limited
Year of Publication: 2019
Author: Anthea S. Thomas
Wadadli Pen Note: She is one of the very few Antiguans and Barbudans to publish a text book and it began through her own initiative with her writing and self-publishing these texts in response to her classroom needs before attracting interest from the UK publisher.


Book: Primary School Studies for Antigua and Barbuda: Grade 6 (Student’s Book and Workbook)
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Harper Collins’ Publishers Limited
Year of Publication: 2019
Author: Anthea S. Thomas
Wadadli Pen Note: She is one of the very few Antiguans and Barbudans to publish a text book and it began through her own initiative with her writing and self-publishing these texts in response to her classroom needs before attracting interest from the UK publisher.


Book: Summertime Fun
Genre: Children’s Literature
Publisher: Archway Publishing
Year of Publication: 2020
Author: Darlene Beazer-Parker
Wadadli Pen Note: Beazer-Parker lives in Virginia but was born and raised in Barbuda.


Book: The Sweetest Escape (Falling like a Johnson Book 5)
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2019
Author: Rilzy Adams
Wadadli Pen Note: Resident Antiguan and Barbudan lawyer and former Wadadli Pen finalist.


Book: Twelve Dates of Christmas (Love on the Rock Book 1)
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2019
Author: Rilzy Adams
Wadadli Pen Note: Resident Antiguan and Barbudan lawyer and former Wadadli Pen finalist.


Book: Turtle Beach
Genre: Children’s Literature
Publisher: Harper Collins
Year of Publication: 2021
Author: Barbara Arrindell
Wadadli Pen Note: This book is part of the Collins Big Cat series of children’s books.


Book: Unique Pieces of the Masterpiece Perfectly Designed for Your Purpose: A Love Letter to Women
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: HFW Publishing
Year of Publication: 2020
Author: Chrys-Ann Ambrose
Wadadli Pen Note: She lives with her family in her home country Antigua from where she work as a life coach and motivational speaker.


Book: A Very Merry Ex-Mas
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2019
Author: Kimolisa Mings
Wadadli Pen Note: Various mentions on the blog, and this guest blog on epublishing.


Book: When Love Ignites (Falling like a Johnson Book 4)
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2019
Author: Rilzy Adams
Wadadli Pen Note: Resident Antiguan and Barbudan lawyer and former Wadadli Pen finalist.


Book: You, Me + Baby (Love on the Rock Book 2)
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2019
Author: Rilzy Adams
Wadadli Pen Note: Resident Antiguan and Barbudan lawyer and former Wadadli Pen finalist.


Book: Yours Always (Falling like a Johnson Book 6)
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: self-published
Year of Publication: 2020
Author: Rilzy Adams
Wadadli Pen Note: Resident Antiguan and Barbudan lawyer and former Wadadli Pen finalist.


Book: Zane Visits Costa Rica
Genre: Children’s Literature
Publisher: Bumpkin Books
Year of Publication: 2020
Author: Ladesa Williams
Wadadli Pen Note: The author is a banking executive; this was a pandemic project co-written with her son, Zane, based on a boy’s trip to Costa Rica with his dad


I pulled the titles from the Antigua and Barbudan bibliography on this site. If a cover is missing, it’s because I couldn’t find one via google. I will add them if they are sourced and/or submitted. If I missed any book published for the first time 2019 to January 2021 (when this is being posted), please let me know so that they can be added to this polling and to the bibliography. Thanks. – Joanne C. Hillhouse, Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator, and site admin.

3 Comments

Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Literary Gallery

3 responses to “#ReadAntiguaBarbuda 2021

  1. I cast my vote for Turtle Beach by Barbara A Arrindell and Zavian Archibald (illustrator). A story both charming and conscious (as relates to the environment) with art work reflecting the Caribbean at night in a way that feels at once accurate (grounded, realistic) and magical (otherworldly). Great as a read-along and for independent readers as a story in its own right but also as an opportunity to open up discussions with young people about environmental stewardship. Happy that my own book, The Jungle Outside, shares a launch date with this book. It’s good company to be in. – vote cast by Joanne C. Hillhouse

    • Lilian

      I vote for Blow the lid off by Robert Belle as the approach to everyday creativity in this guide is simple to follow and equally profound.

  2. Reblogged this on Wadadli Pen and commented:

    This was a bust but don’t hold it against these books. Yep, our second attempt at the readers’ choice book of the year initiative that found success (i.e. achieving sufficient minimum votes for us to declare a winner, receiving sufficient financial contribution to purchase books for a school of the winning author’s choosing, the joy of watching those children choose books they wanted to read). And it was likely the latter that got me all amped up to do it again…but can’t catch lightening in a bottle twice I guess. Yes, I’m disappointed (and not just because researching and doing this post about eligible books was time consuming but) because I really wanted to see us boost a local book again and give some children some books. Well, yes, the reader Antigua Barbuda initiative 2.0 is a bust (calling it!) but we will find a way to give some children some books – announcement will be made during our May 30th 2021 Wadadli Pen Challenge initiative. Thanks for playing and stay tuned. Also #readAntiguaBarbuda

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